Databases, Shift-Left, and Empathy: What You Missed at DevOpsDays Charlotte

Posted by Baron Schwartz on Feb 15, 2019, 11:22:15 AM

Last week several people from VividCortex traveled to attend DevOpsDays Charlotte, where I gave the opening keynote, we had a table to demonstrate our product, we caught up with friends and customers we haven't seen in a while, and last but certainly not least we shared in lots of DevOps conversations! Here's a recap of some highlights I enjoyed at the conference.

devopsdays-charlotte

If you missed the conference, it's a consistently solid DevOps event, with a great lineup of speakers and topics. You can see all of the past sessions on their YouTube channel. This year I wasn't able to attend the second day, but the talks I attended on the first day were important and gave me a lot of food for thought.

I particularly appreciated Matt Stratton's talk on organizational trauma. If I may paraphrase some of its ideas: when animals get chased by predators, their bodies go into flight mode. If they escape, they have a physical way to reset their systems to get out of that mode. Humans have slightly different responses, and one of them can be to accumulate trauma, instead of resetting and "shaking it off." If you apply this understanding to organizations, what do you learn? I thought Matty did a great job exploring this train of thought. Other speakers focused on topics such as "shift-left" security in the SDLC, building organizational strength, and decoding the substance behind tech buzzwords.

My own talk was about bringing DevOps to the database. In many companies, the database is the last bastion of old-world processes and practices. DevOps flourishes all around in software development and production operations, but the database remains walled off and doesn't get modernized. I have seen this many, many times—but I've also seen companies that did succeed in bringing DevOps to the database.

Topics I covered included:

  • What happened in the teams that didn't modernize—why didn't they?
  • What did the other teams do well that enabled them to make this change?
  • What were the benefits from bringing DevOps to the database, and were there negative impacts to companies that didn't?
  • How did they do it?
  • How can you do it—how can the rest of us learn from each other's successes and failures?
  • What are three concrete, doable things you can do to get started?

The talk was recorded, and my slides are available. I'm embedding both below. I welcome your feedback and comments. The best way to reach me is via email at baron@vividcortex.com or tweet me at @xaprb.

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